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Thursday, Nov. 4, 2004 09:41 pm

quick takes 11-4-04

ALMOST MISSING ABDUL

Can't say we spend much time monitoring talk radio, but a drive-by of new WMAY (970 AM) personality Pamela Furr made us almost run off the road in our haste to change the station. Furr, former star of Nashville radio and proprietor of a company providing chitchat for Southern-gospel stations, must not have seen the same coverage of the Democratic National Convention that we did -- because Monday night, during a live interview with rock star-cum-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, Furr asked whether he thought all that national exposure had helped his campaign.

It's enough to make you miss Abdul-Hakim Shabazz. Almost. Not quite. But if you do, tune your computer to www.wxnt.com, where he's streaming 6-9 a.m. weekdays and promises to soon be broadcasting 24 hours a day. "All Abdul all the time," he writes in these e-mails he keeps sending people who couldn't care less. "Yes, my ego is now officially out of control, and I like it that way."

HANG A MUSEUM ON YOUR TREE

The new "City of Springfield" ornament, the 12th in a series commemorating area landmarks, features the new Abraham Lincoln presidential museum, which is scheduled to open in about six months. It's the second ornament to feature the new presidential complex -- last year's depicted the library portion, and next year's features the restored Union Station.

The ornaments, which are plated in 24-karat gold, are sold to raise money for St. Joseph's Home, a Roman Catholic home for the aged. They can be purchased at the home, St. John's Hospital's gift shop, the Illinois State Museum store, and other area locations. For more information, visit www.saintjosephshome.org.

AN EXCUSE TO EAT FISH AND PIE

The 100-year-old library in Elkhart is, as they say, bursting at the seams. When a new book arrives, one must be removed from the collection to make room for it. The historic library, located at 121 Bohan St., is not handicapped-accessible, and there's no children's area or room for extra reference materials. Supporters of the library hope to change that with a campaign that kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, with a family fish-and-pie night at Elkhart's Talk of the Town restaurant and a silent auction at the firehouse. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, the celebration continues at the library with storytelling and food. To reach the library, call 217-947-2313.

DON'T LEAVE DIPLOMACY TO THE PROS

Harriet Mayor Fulbright is the featured speaker at a Summit on Citizen Diplomacy at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8, at the Illinois State Library. Fulbright, the widow of U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, frequently speaks on the importance of international relations and the role of private citizens in finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts.

The free event is sponsored by the Springfield Commission on International Visitors, the World Affairs Council of Central Illinois, and the Springfield Sister Cities Association. For more information, contact Alicia Erickson, international-program manager at the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, 217-789-2360.

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